Waking the Walker

A mother's quest to survive her son's "zombie" years – aka his teens.

Tag: inspiration

Waking the Woman


To all my regular “Waking the Walker” readers I have officially taken the leap from Single Parenting blogging to Self-Discovery blogging.

In January of 2019 I launched “Waking the Woman – a Mother’s quest to rediscover herself after her Son leaves for college”

https://wakingthewoman.com/

Goddess Masthead

This new blog is very much in it’s infancy (pun intended), but if you enjoyed reading my adventures while parenting my Son, I would hope you’d find my journey to rediscover the woman that got lost during those parenting years just as interesting and entertaining. And maybe even inspirational.

To date this sojourn has already hit roadblocks, but unearthing the woman that got lost while focusing on raising my Son is going to take a lot more work than I ever thought.

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As I noted in this months post “Out of Sorts” I have just had the epiphany that I am stuck in the limbo between two worlds: that of Full-Time Mom and Empty Nester. Thus making the road to rediscovery even more challenging.

In many ways I am now the “Walker” meandering the earth being swayed by whatever way the horde may go.

© Mariann E. Danko and Waking the Walker, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Seneca


As one year draws to a close and a new one beckons on the horizon, thinking about wiping the slate clean and starting fresh is an invigorating thing, regardless of what you experienced the previous year.

For my Son and I, 2018 was a year full of a flurry of activity and major change. My Son graduated from high school and headed off to college, leaving me an empty nester.

College

Needless to say this has been a huge adjustment for both us. BUT, now that we are 4 months into it, I can say we are both holding our own.

It was a bit shaky for me the first month or two. Coming home to an empty house, and eating dinner alone being the most difficult adjustments. With time however, it became the new norm, which makes both my Son and I truly appreciate meals together when he’s home on breaks.

So, as a new year approaches, and our new status established, my Son a college student, and me an empty nester, I can officially sign off on “surviving my Son’s zombie years, AKA his teens.”  

With that said, the time has come to bid farewell to my dear friend “Waking the Walker”

https://wakingthewalker.wordpress.com/twd-apocalyptic-parenting-tactics/

WTW-twitter

My first blog post was January 29, 2014 and since then, this blog has not just documented the highs and lows of the past four years, but become the anchor that kept me grounded, and helped bring my Son and I closer.

In addition, it aided me in navigating some very challenging times. By writing about whatever was testing me, I was able to find a way to resolve the issue.

It will not be easy to let go of “Waking the Walker” just as it was not easy to see my Son head off to college, but it is the healthy thing to do. I know it is time for me to focus on rediscovering who I am beyond being a Mom.

In meditating on all this, a line from the song “Closing Time” by Semisonic came to mind: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Seneca

Perseverence

This song came out in the late nineties, during the time when I had left my husband and was on a quest to rediscover myself post a suffocating marriage. It was also during this time I met my Son’s father, which in turn lead to me becoming a Mom.

Is it irony or coincidence that this song came to mind as I meditate on once again forging off on a new journey of rediscovery?

Or is it just the universe reminding me that the last time I stepped into this zone the most amazing and wonderful thing occurred. I met the love of my life and became a Mom.

Being a Mom was something I had all but given up on at that time, so it goes without saying that I threw myself in 200%. The center of my universe was and always will be my Son, but I do know he needs to forge his own path, without Mom right by his side. As do I.

Where this new adventure will take me is yet to be seen. Who I am now is very different from who I was back in the nineties before I became a Mom, so this quest of rediscovery will most certainly be different.

Not to say that I’m older and wiser, but I have experienced a lot these past twenty-some years since then, and it is those experiences that will shape and mold my new journey of rediscovery.

Flying Solo

If there is one thing though that I can take from my previous sojourn, it is to “let go and let God.” By allowing things to transpire in God’s time, not our time, we allow the universe to step in and work it’s magic.

So, as my Son and I bid adieu to 2018, and usher in 2019, we will look to the New Year with wide-eyed optimism. Acknowledging that although we are now both on our own adventure, we are still partners in the great adventure called life.

I do hope that some of you who have been regular “Waking the Walker” readers will continue to follow me into my next sojourn. I will post one final post in January of 2019 with the official link to my new blog “Waking the Woman” – a mother’s quest to rediscover herself after her Son leaves for college.

Until then, I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. 

Sunrise

© Mariann E. Danko and Waking the Walker, 2018. All rights reserved.

An Attitude of Gratitude


After the insanity of the past couple months at work, which lead me to feeling as though I had lost my way, I had one day early this month where I was actually caught up, at least for a few hours.

Something I haven’t experienced in months.

I knew this moment would not last long; so I took advantage of it and allowed myself time to breathe. During that time I meditated on the fact that despite the frenetic days we can all experience at my office, everyone generally stays in an upbeat mood.

Meditation

Are there moments of bitching and complaining? Sure, we are human after all. We have our limits.

Overall though, there is an attitude of gratitude. My co-workers are grateful to have a job, and have the opportunity to do overtime to help make ends meet. Not every company would be so generous.

It made me realize that although in general I too am upbeat, over the course of the past couple months, I have had some days that I resented having to do overtime.

Not because I mind doing it. Honestly I don’t mind an extra hour every day, or a day here and there when I might need more than that to get almost caught up.

What I resent is that I now need to do it in order to make ends meet. I don’t have an option.

You see, my Son had received Social Security benefits because his father passed when he was three. This additional monthly income allowed me to make ends meet and not have to do overtime all the time in order to do so.

BUT, when my Son graduated from high school that money was cut off. Personally I feel that makes no sense. Wouldn’t that money come in handy when sending your child to college? Of course it would.

Obviously Social Security doesn’t think that way, but I won’t get into that now.

Leading up to the date this money was to be cut off I was having anxiety attacks about how to replace this money. Did I need to take on a part time job? Or, would there be enough work at work to warrant consistent overtime?

Perseverence

My answer came as things began to get busier than normal in late Spring, and explode through the Summer and Fall. Just at the time I needed it.

Will things stay this way? I don’t know for sure, but for now I am able to fill the financial void that caused me great anxiety, which is a good thing.

And, over the course of the past couple months I have adjusted to a longer workday. It has become my new norm.

In addition, should I need to supplement with a part-time job if the OT ends up not being consistent, I will be mentally and emotionally prepared.

So, although I may not be thrilled that working more than 40 hours a week is my new way of life, I am grateful that the opportunity is there.

I am also grateful that I didn’t have to do this while my Son was still at home. There are many families out there that can’t say the same.

While pondering all this, I have realized though that you can’t just say you are grateful, you have to live life with a grateful heart. It has to be at your core, all the time.

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I have also discovered this is most definitely easier said than done. All it takes is one overly stressful day to push any form of gratitude back into resentment.

It is with all of this in mind, that I am working on not just consistently having an attitude of gratitude, but living every day with a grateful heart. And this applies to all aspects of my life, not just my work situation.

My hope is that in so doing, I will be putting positive energy out into the universe, which in turn will bring positive energy back to me. Thus creating a circle of positivity, which can only open doors to a better way of living.

I do realize this may seem like a Pollyanna concept, but what better time of year to come to this realization and decide to make a conscious effort to change my way of thinking.

The holidays are upon us and a New Year is beckoning.

A new year in which I have vowed to introduce my new blog “Waking the Woman – a Mother’s quest to rediscover herself after her Son leaves for college.”

AND, part of my rediscovery will most definitely involve working on living with a grateful heart.

Everlasting Love

As we head into one of the busiest times of the year, I’m quite sure my efforts will be tested on multiple levels, so check back next month for an update on my progress.

 

 

© Mariann E. Danko and Waking the Walker, 2018. All rights reserved.

 

At a Crossroads Without a Compass


In 1995, at the age of 34, I walked out of a dead-end marriage. I was beyond stressed, not just about my marriage, but work too.

Anyone who has ever worked in advertising or marketing can relate to the ridiculous levels of stress one can experience in this world. In the beginning it was exciting, but one can only take all that BS for so long, and I had been at for 15 years.

I felt trapped at work and home. I felt like there was no way out.

Dead End Sign Maze No Way Out Danger Warning 3d Illustration

It was a co-worker who encouraged me to just set a date, and leave my husband. At first I thought the idea was nuts.

How do you just do that?

The worse things got though, the more it made sense. 

I knew I could only tackle one life-sucking situation at a time. Leaving my husband was a lot easier than figuring out what to do about my job, especially because the stress of the two made me brain-dead.

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Walker Brain – Too Tired to Think


OK, so for the first time in the four years I’ve been writing this blog, I’m coming up dry in the monthly theme department. It’s not that I have writers block, it’s just that my Son and I have been busy beyond even our normal busy. So much so, even my brain is tired.

Walkers Circling House

October is always a extra-busy month when it comes to marching band because parades (one short one and one endless one) are added into the mix beyond football games, but this year my Son’s school also hosted a Tournament of Bands, at which the band performed twice, and the music boosters ran the concession stand, at which I worked. So the weekend of the Tournament, there was an away game Friday night, the furthest we’ve traveled regular season in two years, the Tournament Saturday and a parade Sunday.

This gauntlet was taxing on everyone involved, but my Son and I felt it even more. Why you ask? We had just returned from a trip to Arizona for my nephew’s wedding the previous weekend. This was the furthest West either of us had traveled and going out it was wonderful gaining time, but coming back it really got us, particularly because we landed at midnight our time, which got us home in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

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We did take Wednesday to recuperate, but Thursday we were off and running, so we had little time to even catch our breath. Added to this I’ve been crazy busy at work, which makes my days just seem endless. Just getting done what had to be done at home was about all I could handle.

You would not have wanted to see my house the weeks after the trip, I had laundry sitting in the living room for two weeks before I could get it put away. Our suitcases are still sitting in the dining room waiting to be taken to the basement, along with unfinished project that have been sitting since band camp started in August.

Don’t get me wrong, our trip was an amazing whirlwind adventure, and one I would do again, but it did challenge me in the energy department, especially because I started with a head cold before we left, which put my energy and brain functions in a deficit to start. Add cold meds to mix I was in a constant state of brain fog.

Our trip West is a major highlight of the year and one we had been looking forward too since we booked our flight in February. I made sure I didn’t let the brain fog or low energy levels get in the way of enjoying time spent with family. Or the opportunity to see one of God’s greatest creations, the Grand Canyon. Words and photos don’t do this stunning piece of landscape justice. It most definitely should be on everyone’s bucket list.

One thing is for sure, if not for the wedding, I know I would not have gotten out West to not only see the Grand Canyon, but Las Vegas (at least the strip) and Flagstaff. My Son and I flew into Las Vegas, where we connected with one of my nephews and his family, then drove to Flagstaff. The scenery was spectacular. So glad I took my nephew’s advise.

So, although the end of October brought the end of the regular football season, I’m not sure November will be much different because the football team is undefeated, and we are now headed into the playoffs.

One thing is for sure though, nothing will compare to the gauntlet October put before us. The key thing though is we survived, and had a fantastic time, making memories we will never forget. And that’s all that really matters.

© Mariann E. Danko and Waking the Walker, 2017. All rights reserved.

TWD pics courtesy of AMC

Schooled by the Band


At any away football game, one never knows what you will experience from the home team fans. In general there are no major issues, but there are a few schools where the rivalry is pretty intense, so security tries to keep the students on their respective sides to prevent any clashes.

Over my Son’s high school years, his marching band has had to deal with some heckling as they exited the stadium, but in general it has not been that bad. That was until a game early this month, at which time our football team came out victorious after having lost in regular season to this particular team for the past 5 years.

We usually get a police escort when we exit at this school to aid in preventing any problems, but this time there were no police or even any security nearby. This obviously left the band vulnerable for abuse. Not just verbally either.

A bunch of kids were actually dodging in between the lines of band members as they tried to march. Of course they were trying to incite a fight. In addition, some of the group got in front of the band and took pictures as one of their buddies flipped the bird with the band behind him.

Their behavior was beyond rude and disrespectful.

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Through all of this the band members just kept marching, not reacting, only politely requesting these intruders get out of the way. Once the band got to the instrument truck the intruders disappeared.

They weren’t gone for good though, after the instruments were packed up and the kids were all on their buses, they reappeared. This time they took to getting physical by volleying rocks at one of the buses. Fortunately the kids on this bus had the windows closed, so no one was injured, but they succeeded in putting a hairline crack in a window.

Needless to say, the band kids were not only extremely shaken up, but also fired up by all of this. They knew they did the right thing in not reacting, but seeing some of their “family” frightened by the intruders truly incensed some of them. As they said, “We are family and no one messes with my family.”

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